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Are Marketing Lists Stronger In The Summer?

I have often considered marketing as a combination of;

  • What you say
  • Who you say it to
  • When you say it

The “what you say” element is quite literally the telemarketing script or postal mailing /email broadcast text content. And the “who you say it to” is a direct link to the b2b data file you source from a list broker. It is essential to get both elements right when initiating a marketing campaign.

But how important is the “when you say it” element, which relates to timing? And what effect does the campaign timing have on results?

It is impossible to determine the ever changing moods of prospects, and whether or not they will receive your marketing piece more warmly one day in comparison to the next. But there are some elements to business which genuinely are seasonal.

Imagine commercial contract solicitors, or even insolvency practitioners. Most businesses only want their services when they have a contractual litigation issue or (for the latter) their company is in severe financial difficulty. It isn’t practical to market your services to companies asking “do you have a problem we can help with?” because so many prospects would be immediately disqualified from having any need or desire of these services. Quite possibly they never will have a need too, but if ever they did it would be very much a question of timing.

Airt conditioning consultants work all year round; servicing maintenance contracts on a regular basis throughout the year. They don’t only want commercial customers when it’s hot, and offices are in need of an air conditioning fix. However, it is during the heat-wave times that the employees are at their most uncomfortable, stuck in a hot office environment. Here is where telemarketing can be particularly potent, as opposed to direct mail. The telemarketing list can be segmented by region and allocated the day’s weather forecast first thing in the morning. The regions expecting a swelteringly hot day can be targeted by phone; would your office benefit from a free review of its air conditioning systems? With the calls made during the hottest times of the day (say 11am to 3pm) they have the strongest possible chance of hitting at the right time. The beauty of telemarketing companies is that they are able to switch between client campaigns to suit the best timing of the calls.

Meanwhile, a telemarketing campaign to public houses, restaurants and hotels is probably best avoiding precisely these times of day (11am – 3pm) because they are traditionally busy times, during the lunch period. So a call during these hours is more likely to go unanswered or be met with an abrupt response.

Another particularly potent campaign for the summer months are the suppliers of water coolers and other office refreshment service companies. Again, the hotter the day the greater the probability that any prospect with a potential need will have a stronger desire to meet with the supplier of these services.

Neither of these approaches could be considered preying on the vulnerable, as it cannot be known from the telemarketing data which companies are in need of these services before the calls are made. As a telemarketing service provider you would simply be maximising your opportunity around the time of year, and hopefully generating your client a higher volume of quality appointments.

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White Collar Business Data List

The most common approach for companies who seek a business data list of white collar workers is to review the industry classifications. With around five hundred SIC codes, and two thousand lower level business data descriptions, these will show the vertical market that each company operates within. But does this method truly identify the white collar workers from the blue? Can you be sure that accountants and solicitors are the former, and manufacturers the latter? Imagine two scenarios

Company 1: ABC Solicitors

This firm has ten branches; they are a large firm of solicitors. Nine of their offices are located in major cities. The tenth branch however is the only premise that is located within your desired catchment area, so it is this site that would be picked up by the data. Unlike the other nine sites, this branch is a warehouse premise, where all secure documents are stored. Aside from a general manager, all employees are dedicated to the warehousing and storage functionality of the business. Is this the kind of operation you would want to target for white collar related services?

Company 2: LMN Manufacturing

Similar to our firm of solicitors, this manufacturing company has ten premises and just one of these premises resides within the locality of your target region. The other nine sites are factory premises, manufacturing goods in line with the company’s product range. But the tenth site is the head office premise, where the functions of finance, sales, marketing and account management reside. So in this case we have a white collar operation, despite the overall nature of the company being predominantly blue collar.

These examples are quite extreme, but go to illustrate the point that the industry classification of a company is not necessarily indicative of the functionality of the premise being targeted. And so for this reason, there is a second variable which requires consideration; the business premise code. A warehouse or factory premise is ideal for marketing to for services such as industrial waste disposal, blue collar related training services etc. Whereas these premise types should be excluded if marketing into white collar service companies.

Based on the fact that these examples are quite extreme (the first being more so than the second), as a general rule the industry classification based selection is appropriate where there is no premise type within the data. And there are plenty of office-based companies which are far from ideal anyway; such as taxi companies or couriers. But where the premise type does come into play is as a sense-checking tool. i.e., that the business data specification caters for the removal of prospects which operate from an undesirable premise type.

Another premise type which yields a high volume of anomalies are the companies trading from home. Many services are simply not suited to this premise type. A company may be flagged up as “warehousing services” in the business classification and also be identified as having ten employees. But in reality this could be an individual who previously stated that they have ten employees, where those employees are either contracted or work from a different site. And all the company’s warehousing services are in fact contracted out, with this particular business operating on a commission scheme.

So whether applied as an inclusion or exclusion parameter, the premise type is of particular relevance when considering your marketing data and how best to specify it.


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